Craving a space to breathe [and unpack the boxes].

When May rolls around, I find myself buried in bed sheets and old journals, forcing myself to see what I’ve learned in the past year. It’s easy to close out another school year and feel like I’m in the same place, but that’s never really the case. This time, school has ended, but I’m actually back at home for about 2 weeks before heading straight into being a videographer for WinShape Girls Camp (SUPER exciting stuff!!!). That also means that this is the first time I’ve had to move all of my stuff home, which was quite scary because there was entirely too much stuff, but I also have to pack up my childhood bedroom because my parents are preparing to move. I also have to pack for camp, and it’s honestly like my bed is an island in a sea of boxes of dorm stuff and old stuff. It’s quite chaotic.

There’s a lot of stuff. A lot of memories. And honestly, I’m quite tempted to toss it all and start all over (I’m not going to do that, but some mornings I wake up and definitely want to). I’ve had to go ahead and start thinking about post grad, learning how to save a lot of money while still buying stuff for camp and summer fun things.

I also got the AWESOME opportunity to share what God has been up to in my life in the past year at Stonecreek Wake (the student ministry where I became a Christian), alongside some awesome people who have also shared time in the ministry. It looked like a lot of talking about restoration, the dreams God has put in my heart, and learning what it means to follow Him in new ways.

Life is really wild right now, but I’m a big fan of it.

I feel like God has surrounded me with people He intended to have take care of me. Thank you, Jesus, for your kindness and your attention to details in the way I receive and feel love the best. Thank you for your solidarity. Even when the ocean around me is in complete chaos, hurricane season, if you will, you have set me secure on the oil rig.” 5/28/2016

Reflecting used to be one of my most favorite things in the world, but now I’ve found it to be a very difficult thing. Finals have finished. I’ve got a few days at home under my belt, the perfect balance of creating a morning routine and doing things to still push myself. I’m learning how to get back in the habit of writing every day, cutting back on coffee, and drinking more water. Let me tell you, it’s a whole lot easier to eat healthy at home because there’s a kitchen where everything is conveniently located. It’s been a slow and beautiful past few days though. However, still difficult and painful to process because I’ve spent the last year and a half shoving difficult things to the back of my mind, half-heartedly promising to “deal with it” later.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now, trying to undo the knots in my head and in my heart because anything else I gave to you would be inauthentic. I said, “This will be real or it will be nothing,” and that’s the way I’ve felt about God lately. He’s either real, or He’s not. (Spoiler alert: He is, it is just taking me a while to sink deep in that).

I opened my Bible the other morning for the first time in months, or at least the first time I was really ready to confront God and learn more about Him without complaining about not knowing Him while not being in His Word. I’m not really in that place I used to be at with God, where you’re mad at someone but you can still sit down to lunch with them. I’ve grown more stagnant because I wasn’t willing to unpack a lot of baggage I’ve shoved into the back of my closet.

I have never found myself so desperate for God from such a stagnant place. I have needed God in my deepest valleys, but I’ve looked up to find the person beside me and clung to them. Every time. But I have never really been in this place, not steeped in strong emotion, not wanting to cling to anyone, and needed so desperately to cry out to God. I don’t have anyone to latch onto, but that’s a very good thing, and I don’t feel alone either. It’s a strange place to be in, and to be quite honest, I haven’t had the words for that until now.

I am very aware of my deep need for God.

I need not retreat into a quiet space or my work or academia or even into another person, but to fall headfirst and backward into the deep love and mercy of Jesus. That will be my greatest treasure and my deepest freedom: to know Christ fully, wholly, and with abandon.

I keep asking God to just show me how wonderful He is. He already is awesome and wonderful, but I want to recognize that and be inspired by the ultimate Creator. It is much more difficult to become discouraged when our hearts are knit to His and we take the time to slow down and recognize that. He is so big, mighty, and we’ve already been risen in His Victory. We are victorious over all of our fears, doubts, and anxiety because of His Victory. That is such a sweet reminder that I have needed for so long.

So, basically it felt like I was learning nothing from God for a very long time, but now it’s this steady incline of realizing He has been slowly teaching me things the entire time. You know, I don’t want to view God as cryptic because He does not withhold good things from His children, but sometimes I do see Him as someone who holds an answer over my head and laughs while I jump. That is so not true. He is in the waiting. We don’t have to decipher Him; we have to be patient and quiet and wait for Him. In His strength will we find our stillness and victory.

I’m super excited about this summer, and I am expecting that God is going to do beautiful things. I’ve pushed myself from one thing to the next so quickly and haven’t taken the time to truly slow down and be still before God, so I am sure this will be a summer of healing and restoration.

I keep coming back to the idea that one day, we will get to be fully satisfied in beholding God and being in His presence while He heals ALL that has been broken.

I love new beginnings. And I hate endings. Long goodbyes are never enough. And I will never not have an entire well of tears. I also keep coming back to this piece of Scripture: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” and He calls us to be the same. So I wake up some mornings and want to scream because I miss people so much or because bitterness takes chunks of my heart and makes it ache with resentment, but I remember that my God looks at me and loves me in my disgusting bitterness and hard heart. But He is merciful. He is gracious. He is slow to anger. He is abounding in steadfast love. He is an overflowing well, and He will never cease to offer us a drink. Let’s receive it.

Here’s to learning how to receive mercy, but also start to show it again.

Get ready, there’s a lot more where this came from. Happy Fri-yayyy, and here’s to the weekend.

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